Tag Archive: Linguistics



Is the Minoan language proto-Altaic or proto-Japanese? The vast bulk of current diachronic linguistic research stacks up squarely against this hypothesis:

According to Ms.Gretchen Leonhardt of: 

Konosos.net

and I quote:

While there has been much debate about the underlying language of Linear A, I disagree that LinA does not resemble a known language. Despite its similarities to Japanese, historical linguists dismiss a correlation for at least two reasons: (1) the apparent lack of genetic evidence and (2) the universally held belief that LinA is an Indo-European language. Regarding the first justification, if linguists are looking to mainland Japan for genetic evidence, they are looking too far north. By whatever means, it appears that, around 1000 BCE, the Minoans entered Japan from the southern islands, and gradually moved north. Regarding the second justification, Minoan scholarship generally agrees that the Minoans migrated from the Anatolian region**, which suggests an Altaic origin or influence. Likewise, Japanese scholarship suggests that the Japanese language belongs to the Japonic-language family, which is believed to have an Altaic origin or influence.

General consensus dates the demise of the high Minoan civilization as late as 3,500 years ago, with the widespread destruction of the palace centers, while Neil Gordon Munro dates the commencement of the Yamato culture, which is the presumed progenitor of modern Japanese civilization, as early as 3,000 years ago. According to Munro, the origin of the Yamato culture is unknown but had arrived in a highly advanced state. The culture is notable for its grave goods–bronze arrowheads, bells, and halberds. The culture is also notable for its wheel-thrown pottery, which employed “restrained” decoration with “subdued color” [1908:4].

Comment:
Munro was writing in 1908, when linguistic assumptions about Altaic languages were in their infancy! Modern scholarship has all but refuted the assumptions about Altaic languages in vogue at the beginning of the twentieth century, i.e. 100 years ago!

She continues:
The Okinawan (Uchina’a) Japanese remain culturally, genetically, and linguistically distinct from the mainland (Yamato) Japanese, although the two cultures are believed to share a common proto language. This forum will provide support–through disciplines such as archaeology, architecture, art, genetics, and language–for my dual theories that LinA is proto Japanese and that the Minoan civilization provides a rich backdrop for Japanese history, which, for millennia, has been shrouded in mystery.

I hasten to add that in the preceding passage, Ms. Leonhardt has made egregious errors with respect to Minoan Linear A. These are:
1. On the one hand, she claims to disagree that LinA does not resemble a known language.
2. and then goes straight ahead to flatly contradict herself by decrying “the universally held belief that LinA is an Indo-European language. Universally held? Very far from it. The controversy over the origin and language class Linear A purportedly belongs to still rages on, as attested by innumerable studies on academia.edu alone which contradict one another with respect to the language family or class to which Linear A purportedly belongs.  All this after she has just lament the fact that Linear A does not resemble any known language (1.)
3. She goes on... it appears that, around 1000 BCE, the Minoans entered Japan from the southern islands, and gradually moved north. Regarding the second justification, Minoan scholarship generally agrees that the Minoans migrated from the Anatolian region** (Does it? Perhaps in 1908, but I sincerely doubt this is the case today), which suggests an Altaic origin or influence. But what she obviously overlooks in this statement is the distinct probability, and indeed strong likelihood that the Minoan language almost certainly had already existed for some 1,200 years before the Minoans migrated to the southern Japanese islands, if they ever did so in the first place... which is a highly contentious claim. Moreover, while a few researchers still claim that the proto-Japanese dialect she is referencing belongs to the Altaic class of languages, the majority of current researchers number are convinced that this cannot be so.

And I quote (all italics mine):

Altaic Wikipedia TI

Micro-Altaic includes about 66 living languages,[9] to which Macro-Altaic would add Korean, Japanese and the Ryukyuan languages for a total of about 74. (These are estimates, depending on what is considered a language and what is considered a dialect. They do not include earlier states of languages, such as Middle Mongol, Old Korean or Old Japanese.)
Opponents maintain that the similarities are due to areal interaction between the language groups concerned. The inclusion of Korean and Japanese has also been criticized and disputed by other linguists.
The original Altaic family thus came to be known as the Ural–Altaic.[13] In the "Ural–Altaic" nomenclature, Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic are regarded as "Uralic", whereas Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic are regarded as "Altaic"—whereas Korean is sometimes considered Altaic, as is, less often, Japanese.

In other words, proto-Japanese, including the dialect with which Ms. Leonhardt is concerned, may not be (proto-) Altaic at all.

Altaic Wikipedia sometimes

4. Moroever, the following timetable seems to be the most realistic for the appearance of written Japanese (italics mine):



(3) Timetable:

To illustrate the prehistory of Japan, I'd put two lines on the timetable. The first line comes around 400 to 300 BC. This is the time when wet rice culture and iron processing came to the Japanese Islands, and the way of life there changed. Yet an older form of the Japanese language started to be spoken from that time. I'd call this phase of the language "proto-Japanese", which later evolved to our Old Japanese.

Comment:
Now it is clear from this diachronic timeline that proto-Japanese appeared at least 1,800 years after the first attestation of the Minoan language ca. 2200 BCE. 

And again (italics mine):

Japan

Along with the foreign faith, Japan establishes and maintains for 400 years close connections with the Chinese and Korean courts and adopts a more sophisticated culture. This new culture is essentially Chinese and includes literature, philosophy, art, architecture, science, medicine, and statecraft. Most important is the introduction of the Chinese writing system, revolutionizing Japan, which heretofore had no writing system of its own, and ushering in the country’s historical period.  (Comment: in other words, writing appeared in Japan only after 500 AD, some 2,700 years after the advent of the Minoan civlization.

5. Leonhardt continues, Minoan scholarship generally agrees that the Minoans migrated from the Anatolian region**, which suggests an Altaic origin or influence. after asserting in 1. above that LinA does not resemble a known language. and in 2. above, touting the universally held belief that LinA is an Indo-European language.  Good God, can she make up her mind? Is it 1. 2. or 5.?
6. Leonhardt then cites research a century old! (again, italics mine) She states, “According to Munro, the origin of the Yamato culture is unknown but had arrived in a highly advanced state. The culture is notable for its grave goods–bronze arrowheads, bells, and halberds. The culture is also notable for its wheel-thrown pottery, which employed “restrained” decoration with “subdued color” [1908:4].

For confirmation of the general span of dates of his publications, see:

Japanese race

Munro was writing in 1908, when linguistic assumptions about Altaic languages were in their primitive infancy! Modern scholarship has all but refuted the assumptions about Altaic languages in vogue at the beginning of the twentieth century, i.e. 100 years ago! And he wrote in this very journal.

7. But the most damning evidence against her thesis comes from (italics mine):

Paleoglot: How NOT to reconstruct a protolanguage

how not to rcon a

Paleoglot: ... So let's go through my cheeky list of important strategies that we can follow (using examples from the Tower of Babel project) if we want to isolate ourselves and be rejected by all universities around the world.
1. Use "phonemic wildcards" obsessively! Cast the net wider and you might catch something!

The abuse of mathematical symbols like C, V, [a-z], (a/é/ö), etc. are an excellent way to make your idle conjecture look like a valid theory. It might be called "reconstruction by parentheses" since parentheses are either explicitly shown or hidden by a single variable. An example of this is *k`egVnV (claimed to be the Proto-Altaic word for "nine" in the Tower of Babel database). Obviously, if V represents all possible vowels in this proto-language and there are, say, ten of them possible in either position, then the fact that there are two wildcards in the same word means that the word represents a humungous, two-dimensional matrix of ONE HUNDRED possible permutations (10*10=100):

*k`egana, *k`egena, *k`egina, *k`egüna, *k`egïna, etc.
*k`egane, *k`egene, *k`egine, *k`egüne, *k`egïne, etc.
*k`egani, *k`egeni, *k`egini, *k`egüni, *k`egïni, etc.
*k`eganü, *k`egenü, *k`eginü, *k`egünü, *k`egïnü, etc.
etc. language

Since no single form is actually being posited when wildcards are present, any claim of regular correspondence by such a theorist can be easily identified as fraud. If such linguists can't take themselves seriously enough to hypothesize a structured and testable theory, why then should we take them seriously in turn? 

It is this very method, if you can call it that by any yardstick of scientific methodology that Ms. Leonhardt indulges in:  

Leonhardt kira kiro kura juro

Wiktionary Proto-Japonic

as we can see all too clearly from this chart of her derivations of Minoan words from so-called Altaic roots:

To summarize, Ms. Leonhardt has seized herself in a web of self-contractions, severely outdated research and claims with respect to the authenticity of southern proto-Japanese as a so-called proto-Altaic language which cannot possibly stand the test of valid scientific methodology. I short, her pretensions that southern proto-Japanese is at the root of the Minoan language are just that, presentions, and egregious to boot.

So what are the alternatives? What language family or class might the Minoan language fall into? We shall address that question head on in the next post.


6 Minoan Linear A words from KE to KO which might be proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean:

Here is the table of Minoan Linear A words from KE to KO in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon.

miinoan-linera-a-words-ki-ko-of-possible-proto-greek-origin

As is the usual case, there are inherent problems with the “Greekness” of almost all of the Minoan Linear A words I have tagged as possibly being proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean. This should come as no surprise in view of the fact that I made myself crystal clear on this account in the previous post. The most convincing Minoan Linear A word by far of apparent proto-Greek origin is keite, which is highly likely to be the equivalent of archaic Greek keithen = “thence/from there”.  The least credible is [6] koiru, which is far enough off in its orthography from ancient Greek, kairos = “due measure” to cast sufficient doubt on it.

But in almost all cases, appearances can be, and often are, deceiving. I have said this already, and I repeat it for the sake of emphasis. We cannot be too overcautious.

This brings the total number of so-called proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean words I have managed to isolate in Minoan Linear A to 22.

Can quantum computers assist us in the potentially swift decipherment of ancient languages, including Minoan Linear A?

d-wave-natural-languages-hypotheses

quantum-computing-applictions-cryptographya

No-one knows as yet, but the potential practical application of the decryption or decipherment of ancient languages, including Minoan Linear A, may at last be in reach. Quantum computers can assist us with such decipherments much much swifter than standard digital supercomputers.

austronesian-phylogenetic-tree-b-l

austronsian-sphylogenetic-tree-zoom-in

Here are just a few examples of the potential application of quantum computers to the decipherment of apparently related words in Minoan Linear A:

dide
didi
dija
dije
dusi
dusima
ida
idamete
japa
japadi
japaku
jari
jaria
jarinu
kireta2 (kiretai) *
kiretana *
kuro *
kuru
kuruku
maru (cf. Mycenaean mari/mare = “wool” ...  may actually be proto-Greek
maruku = made of wool? 
namikua
namikudua
paja
pajai (probably a diminutive, as I have already tentatively deciphered a few Minoan Linear A words terminating in “ai”, all of which are diminutives.  
qapaja
qapajanai
raki
rakii
rakisi
sati
sato
sii
siisi
taki
taku
takui
etc.

All of these examples, with the exception of  * kireta2 (kiretai), kiretana & kuro *, each of which I have (tentatively) deciphered, are drawn from Prof. John G. Youngers Linear A Reverse Lexicon:

linear-a-reverse-lexicon

It is to be noted that I myself have been unable to decipher manually on my own any of the related terms above, with the exception of the 3 words I have just mentioned.  The decipherment of kuro = “total” is 100 % accurate. I would like to add in passing that I have managed to (at least tentatively) decipher 107 Minoan Linear A words, about 21 % of the entire known lexicon. But everyone anywhere in the world will have to wait until 2018 to see the results of my thorough-going and strictly scientific research until the publication of my article on the partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science (Belgrade), actually to be released in early 2018. But if you would like to get at least a very limited idea of what my eventual decipherment is all about, you can in the meantime consult this preview on my academia.edu account here:

preview-of-mycenaean-linear-b-tablet-rosetta-stone-for-minoan-linear-a-haghia-triada-ht-31

The British Museum on Twitter only follows back about 5 % of those who follow them, but they do follow us! 

british-museum-twitter

While The British Museum has 1.01 million followers, they only follow back 50.9 K Twitter accounts, and KONOSO is one of those with whom they reciprocate. In other words, we are among the 5 % of Twitter accounts they follow back. This goes to demonstrate the enormous impact our Twitter account, KONOSO:

ko-no-so-twitter

Moreover, in the past 3 months alone, the number of our twitter followers has risen from 1,600 to over 1,900 (1902). This, in combination with the 625 followers of our co-researcher colleague's twitter account (Rita Roberts):

rita-roberts-twiter

brings the total number of followers of our 2 accounts combined to 2,527, up from less than 2,000 only 3 months ago.
 
Among other prestigious international Twitter accounts following us we find:

Henry George Liddell:

henry-george-liddel-twitter

the latest in a long line of generations of great historical Greek linguists who over the centuries have compiled the world’s greatest classical Greek dictionary, the Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon.

Phaistos Project:

phaistos-project-twitter

Greek History Podcast:

greekhistorypodcast-twitter

@antiquitas @eterna:

antiquitas-aeterna-twitter

Dr Kalliopi Nikita:

dr-kalliopi-nikita-twitter

Expert in Greek Archaeology-Ancient Glass Specialist-Dedicated to Greek Culture, Language & Heritage Awareness Art lover-Theatrophile-Painter- Olympiacos-Sphinx 

The Nicholson Museum, antiquities and archaeology museum, Sydney University Museums, Sydney, Australia, also follows us:

nicholson-museum-twitter

Eonomastica:

onomastikos-twitter
Bacher Archäology (Institute, Vienna):

bacher-archaologie-vienna-twitter

Canadian Archaeology:

canadian-archaeology-twitter

University of Alberta = UofAHistory&Classics (Alberta, Canada):
 
hc-university-of-alberta-twitter

All of our followers confirm that Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae:

minoan-linear-a-linear-b-knossos-mycenaae-site-home

is having a profound impact on the vast field of diachronic historical linguistics, especially the decipherment of ancient languages, most notably Mycenaean Linear B, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C and even Minoan Linear A.  MLALBK&M has in effect become the premier diachronic historical linguistics site of its kind in the world in the space of less than 4 years. 


The staggering implications of the power of our unconscious mindset coupled with quantum computint in the endeavour to make great technological strides in linguistics! PART A:

all-in-your-mind



CRITICAL Links to KEY PERSEUS/Tufts ancient Greek pages for persons knowledgeable in ancient Greek:

1. Homer, Iliad, Book II, The Catalogue of Ships:

homer-book-ii-catalogue-of-ships-introduction

If you are wondering why I have deliberately zeroed in on Book II, the Catalogue of Ships of Homers Iliad, as I am sure you are, wonder no more. Only Book  II alone, the Catalogue of Ships of Homers Iliad, can provide us with sufficient examples of Homeric grammar with distinctly Mycenaean characteristics, from which we can thereby retrogressively extrapolate numerous examples of grammatical forms in many of the major categories of Homeric Greek to their putative, and in fact, actual, Mycenaean ancestral roots.
 

2. Jeffrey A. Rydberg-Cox, Overview of Greek Syntax:

rydberg-page

is a superb source for the study of ancient Greek grammar. The link is parsed into the major sub-categories of ancient Greek grammar, i.e. nouns, verbs, participles etc. etc., and is thus an extremely valuable and highly practical source for ancient Greek grammar, all but eliminating the necessity of having to buy a hard-copy or e-book publication on ancient Greek grammar. In short, it is a perfectly sound source for ancient Greek grammar aficionados.


International Historical Linguistics journals I will contact to review my articles in Archaeology and Science, 2016 & 2017:

Following is a list in 2 PARTS of international Historical Linguistics journals I will contact to review my articles in Archaeology and Science:

[1] Janke, Richard Vallance. The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, Archaeology and Science. Vol. 11 (2015), pp. 73-108.

As soon as this ground-breaking article is published in early 2017, I shall submit it for review in every one of the international journals below. 

[2] Janke, Richard Vallance. Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery, Archaeology and Science. Vol. 12 (2016)

Since this article is not going to be published before mid-2017, and as yet has no pagination, I shall have to wait until then before I submit it for review to all of the periodicals below.

historical-linguistics-reviews-a

historical-linguistics-reviews-b



MASTER Article, “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B”, Archaeology and Science, Vol. 11 (2015) received: excerpts follow

I have just received the DRAFT of the entire issue of Vol. 11 (2015) Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, in which my ground-breaking article, “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B” appears on pp. 73-108 (35 pages long). I have proof-read it and I found errors only in the transcription of the SPIonic.ttf Greek font, which causes all the Greek text to be printed in Latin characters, such that they appear garbled. But this error will be eliminated in the actual article when it appears this coming winter (2017).

Here you see the title page plus three consecutive but non-contiguous excerpts from my article:

archaeology-and-science-vol-11-2015

decipherment-of-supersyllabograms-in-linear-b-a

decipherment-of-supersyllabograms-in-linear-b-b

decipherment-of-supersyllabograms-in-linear-b-c


NOTE that the decipherment of the 36 supersyllabograms is the first and last major breakthrough in the final decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B, which was first deciphered by Michael Ventris in June-July 1952 (with the exception of supersyllabograms, which account for at least 20 % of the text on Linear B tablets).

Thanks!

Richard


I have just finished the first draft of the article, “Pylos Tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for Linear A tablet HT 31, vessels and pottery, which is to appear in Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade)  ISSN 1452-7448,

archaeology-and-science-cover-vol-10

and I fully  expect that I shall completed the draft Master by no later than Oct. 15 2016, by which time I shall submit it to at least 5 proof-readers for final corrections, so that I can hopefully submit it to the journal by no later than Nov. 1 2016.   This article is to prove to be a ground-breaker in the decipherment of at least 21.5 % = 116 terms of the extant vocabulary = 510 terms by my count, of  Minoan Linear A, although I cannot possibly claim to have deciphered the language itself. Nor would I, since such a claim is unrealistic at best, and preposterous at worst. Nevertheless, this article should prove to be the most significant breakthrough in any partially successful decipherment in Minoan Linear A since the first discovery of a meagre store of Linear A tablets by Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos 116 years ago.


Measurement of 17 conjectural units total of dry and liquid volume & weight in Minoan Linear A:

Each entry below is classified by UNIT of measurement + amount + tablet + measurement type (dry or liquid + volume or weight):

GRAINS:

adaru 40 ARKH 5 volume or weight
adu 680 HT 92 dry volume LARGE
(a fair candidate for a unit of measurement)
dame 20 HT 86 + 74 HT 120 dry volume
kidata 134 HT 40 dry volume LARGE
(a good candidate for a unit of measurement)
kunisu 20 HT 86 weight
kupaja 16 HT 116 weight
nudu*331 207 HT 40 dry volume LARGE
(a good candidate for a unit of measurement)
pa3nina 12 HT 93 dry volume + darida = vase
pase 20 HT 18 weight
pura2 (purai) 40 HT 116 volume or weight
pitakase 161 HT 21 dry volume LARGE
(a good candidate for a unit of measurement)
qanuma 12 HT 116 weight
sara2 (sarai) 5 HT 121 + 10 HT 114 + 20 HT 90 + 41 HT 101 + 976 HT 102 volume
(the most likely candidate for a true unit of measurement)
sikine 12 HT 116 weight
(a good candidate for a unit of measurement)
tuqirina 40 HT 129 volume or weight

OLIVES:

itaja 10 HT 28 liquid volume

WINE:

ra*164ati 38 HT 17 liquid volume

I have extracted all 17 of these conjectural units of measurement, dry in the case of grains (barley and wheat), and liquid in the case of olives and olive oil and wine from all of the Minoan Linear tablets I isolated from the total store of relatively intact Linear A tablets I meticulously scanned from Prof. John G. Younger’s Lexicon of Minoan Linear A tablets and fragments (mostly the latter, which I of course naturally omitted as completely unreliable sources of any terminology whatsoever in Minoan Linear A). I have omitted any so-called unit of measurement which occurs 5 times or less on the Linear A tablets I scanned, as these are much more likely not to relate to measurement at all. 

The total number of these putative units of measurement compares favourably with total number of 16 units of measurement in Mycenaean Linear B, as illustrated in the table below.

all-mycenaean-standard-potential

However, it must be stressed that all 17 of the Minoan Linear A apparent units of measurement are spelled out in full, whereas all 16 of the Mycenaean Linear B units are represented by symbols, the exact opposite practice. To complicate matters further, Minoan Linear A uses symbols to represent very small (fractional) units of measurement,

minoan-fractional-units

again in a practice appositive to Mycenaean Linear B, in which the units of measurement are > unity and usually (quite) large. This introduces the distinct possibility that a few, some or even all of 17 the so-called units of measurement in Minoan Linear A I have isolated above are not units of measurement at all.

I shall have to thoroughly investigate the inevitable ramifications of this real dilemma before I even dare add a single, let alone more than one of these so-called units of measurement to the Glossary of 110 Minoan Linear A words I have compiled. At most, I doubt that more than 4 or 5 of the 17 terms in this list are likely to qualify for inclusion in the Minoan Linear A Glossary, although this estimate may turn out to be too conservative. We shall soon see.   


More illustrations (Figures) for my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science: PART B

Here you see more of the Figures, many of them of actual Minoan Linear A tablets as I have deciphered them, which are to appear in my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science. 

figure-6-vessel-types-on-linear-a-ht-31

figure-7-translation-linear-a-tablet-ht-31-vessels

figure-8-ay-nicolaus-supersyllabograms

It usually takes me between one and two hours to design each figure.  


More illustrations (Figures) for my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science: PART A

Here you see more of the Figures, many of them of actual Minoan Linear A tablets as I have deciphered them, which are to appear in my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science. 

figure-3-minoan-linear-a-tablet-ht-31-haghia-triada

figure-4-linear-b-ta-641-1952-ventris

figure-5-linear-a-tablet-19-puko-tripod

It usually takes me between one and two hours to design each figure.  


First  2 haiku in Minoan Linear A, English et français : qareto & datara

cedar-tree
1

qareto
asasumaise
keda

in a lease field
a shepherd
and a cedar tree

dans un champ loué 
un berger
et un cèdre

2

datara
nirai
karopai

a grove of fig trees
figs
in a kylix

figuiers dans un bosquet
figues
dans un kylix

© by/ par Richard Vallance Janke
Sept. 27/ le 27 sept. 2016


UPDATED Table of 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A:

table-of-24-supersyllabograms-in-minoan-linear-a-640

After scanning all of the Minoan Linear A tablets I have deciphered, more or less accurately, I have been obliged to revise the former Table of 24 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A to this revised and updated Table of 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A.  The 3 extra supersyllabograms all appear in the vessels and pottery sector of the Minoan economy. These are PO, SU and U. In addition, the supersyllabogram A is common to both the olive trees, olive oil & olives sub-sector of the agricultural sector and the vessels and pottery sector. 24 of the supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A are associative, i.e. they accompany, either to the left or to the right, the ideogram with which they are associated. Associative supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A, as in Mycenaean Linear B refer to some major element or object associated with the ideogram in one way or another, without however defining the ideogram itself in any additional way. On the other hand, the 4 supersyllabograms in the vessels and pottery sector are all attributive, in so far as they  portray a particular attribute of the ideogram in which they are incharged. I have managed to decipher with a high degree of accuracy 1 of the 4 supersyllabograms in the vessels sector,  SU, which signifies supa3ra (supaira), i.e. a two handled small cup, as we see here:

table-of-27-supersyllabograms-in-minoan-linear-a

All in all, the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A amount to 75 % of the 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, without however being in any way related to the latter, either as individual syllabograms or in the semiotic values of these. For instance, the supersyllabogram A incharged in a vessel ideogram in Minoan Linear A does not mean “amphora” as it does mean in Mycenaean Linear B, and by the same token, the SSYL PO in Linear A does not signify “Potiniya”, unless by some sheer co-incidence, Potiniya happens to be a pre-Mycenaean non-Indo-European name of a goddess... which is possible though unlikely.  

I have managed to decipher, more less accurately, 9 or 33 % of the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A. These are:

DA = dadumata = grain/wheat measurer (probably) = Linear A sitowoko 
KA = kapa = foot soldier, attendant to the king = Linear B eqeta
KI = kidata = to be accepted for delivery = Linear B dekesato
OR
kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis
kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto
AND
kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket
AND
kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed
NOTE: the semiotic value of the SSYL KI is sector dependent, hence, polysemiotic. This is also true of many supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, although the polysemiotic values of the former are never the same as those of the latter, with one exception only, and that exception is the very next supersyllabogram. 
NI = nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza. But Mycenaean Linear B shares NI with Minoan Linear A, in spite of the fact that the Mycenaean word for figs is suza.   
PA = pa3ni = silo or amphora for storing grain + pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an silo or amphora, more likely the former than the latter, as amphorae are not the most practical recepticle for the storage of grain. Recall that the middle Kingdom Egyptians, who were co-temporaneous with the Minoans, stored their grain in dry silos. 
RA ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) 
SA sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre
SU = supa3ra (supaira) = a small cup with handles
TE = tereza = standard unit of dry or liquid measurement

For the time being, the semiotic values of the remaining 18 or 66 % supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A are beyond my ken.

On a final note, you can see for yourselves that I have displayed the actual appearance of each supersyllabogram in Linear A immediately to the LEFT of the Latin value. In addition, the 9 Latinized supersyllabograms which I have managed to decipher, more or less accurately, are incharged with the alphabetical character D.

All of the above text will be part and parcel of my upcoming major article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the Rosetta Stone to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” and a Glossary of 110 words in Linear A”, Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international hard-bound annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, to be released sometime late in 2017 or early in 2018. This is to be the most significant article I shall have ever published in my entire lifetime, as it represents the first serious attempt in the 116 years since the first discovery of a smattering of Minoan Linear A tablets by Sir Arthur Evans  at Knossos in the spring and summer of 1900 to decipher at least a portion (21.5 % of Minoan Linear A vocabulary, but certainly not the Minoan language itself, in a unique approach never before assayed by any previous philologist or historical linguist who has endeavoured to do the precise opposite to what I have done, i.e. to decipher the entire Minoan language, a goal which is manifestly impossible and plainly unrealistic. All prior philologists have claimed to have deciphered the  Minoan language, a claim I would never be so rash or idealistic as to forward.

I went to a great deal of trouble to make this Table of 27 Supersyllabograms as professional looking as I could. So I hope that some of you will comment on its graphics and graphical layout, or at least vote for it, LIKE, with the number of stars you deem appropriate (hopefully 5).  


Is it even possible to determine what the word for “fig(s)” is in Minoan Linear A? You may be surprised!

Among several other tablets in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B, Linear A tablet HT 88 contains the supersyllabogram NI on the second line:

ht-88-facsimile-620

The question is, what is the actual word for “fig(s)” in Minoan Linear A? Apparently, no-one knows. The odd thing about this supersyllabogram NI is that it was taken over lock-stock-and-barrel by the Mycenaeans. We will never know why, but it is clear that they thought it convenient simply to hang onto it. It may very well be that that the Mycenaeans continued to use the Minoan word for “fig” alongside their early Greek suza. If that is the case, it is all the more relevant for us to attempt to reconstruct the Minoan word for “fig”. Whatever the circumstances, we are still left with the perplexing question, what is the word for “fig” in Minoan Linear A anyway?

In spite of apparently insurmountable obstacles, it may not be so difficult to reconstruct as we might imagine. If we stop to consider even briefly what the word for “fig” is that I have methodically selected in 13 languages, ancient and modern, belonging to 6 different classes, we discover that all but one of them are either monosyllabic or disyllabic. In one instance only is it trisyllabic, pesnika, in Serbian. This does not come as any surprise to me as a linguist, though it may to the so-called  “common person” . Here are the words for “fig” in 16 languages belonging to 6 different languages classes: 
  
KEY to language classes:

AU = Austronesian/ IN = Indo-European/ LI = language isolate/ NC = Niger-Congo/ SE = Semitic/ UR = Uralic. A language isolate is one which does not belong to any international language class whatsoever, but which stands entirely on its own. 

AU: Indonesian ara Malay rajah Maori piki
IN: French figue German Feige Greek (Mycenaean) suza (Attic) suchon Italian fico Latin ficus Norwegian fiken Portuguese figo Serbian pesnika Spanish higo
LI: Basque piku
NC: Swahili mtimi (sub-class = Bantu)
SE: Maltese tin (the only Semitic language in Latin script)
UR: Finnish kuva

Under the circumstances, I am given to wonder whether or not the Minoan Linear A word for “fig” is monosyllabic, disyllabic or possibly even trisyllabic. It is clear that it cannot be monosyllabic, because the supersyllabogram for “fig” in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B is NI. And supersyllabograms are always the first syllable only of di- tri- or multi-syllabic words in both of these languages. Given this scenario, is it possible or even feasible to reconstruct the Minoan Linear A for “fig”? Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes. Why so? It just so happens that most Minoan Linear A words which are diminutives are feminine with the ultimate being either pa3 or ra2. Under the circumstances, it only takes one small step to restore the two mostly likely candidates for the Minoan Linear A for “fig”. And these are:

what-is-the-minoan-linear-a-word-for-figs

It is of course possible to argue that the Minoan word for “fig” is trisyllabic, but this is highly unlikely, since the only trisyllabic word for “fig” in all 13 of the languages cited above is the Serbian, pesnika. Hence, I am reasonably convinced that the Minoan Linear A word for “fig(s)” is either nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai).

Finally, as it is clear that since the word for “fig(s)” does not even remotely correspond to any of the 13 words in 6 language classes, ancient and modern, above, not even Basque, it may very well turn out that, like Basque, the Minoan language is also a language isolate. I should not be the least but surprised if it were.  

This discussion will be part and parcel in my upcoming article in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the Rosetta Stone to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” and a Glossary of 110 words”, the third article in a row I shall have published in this prestigious international annual by the beginning of 2018 at the very latest.


Illustrations of 5 Minoan Linear A tablets (Figures) in Archaeology and Science (2016):

a-figure-1-linear-a-ht-31-pavel-serafimov-anton-perdih

b-figure-2-linear-a-ht-13-translation-by-richard-vallance-janke

figure-3-linear-a-tablet-19-puko-tripod

linear-a-ht-12-qatidate-olive-tree

ht-117-lineara-epigraphic-harvest-festival-ideogram-vessel-daro

Above are 5 illustrations of some (not all) of the Minoan Linear A tablets, reduced to 620 pixels, as they will appear as Figures (with the Figure nos. assigned only to Figures 1 & 2, other Figure nos. not yet assigned) in my upcoming article, “Pylos Tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in the prestigious international annual Archaeology and Science, Vol. 12 (2016) ISSN 1452-7448. This is to be the third major article in a row which I will see published in Archaeology and Science.

This paper represents the first genuine breakthrough in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A vocabulary (not the language!) in the 116 years since the first Linear A tablets were unearthed by Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos in 1900.


UPDATED Table of 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A in full colour:

table-of-24-supersyllabograms-in-minoan-linear-a-640

UPDATED Table of 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A in full colour as it will appear in my upcoming article, “Pylos Tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in the prestigious international annual Archaeology and Science, Vol. 12 (2016) ISSN 1452-7448. This is to be the third major article in a row which I will see published in Archaeology and Science. All 3 of the articles (2014, 2015 & 2016) run to at least 28 pages each in a large format hard cover annual, 12 inches high, which is the equivalent of at least 40 pages in a standard format journal. Hence, the total number of pages will run to at least 120 pages in all three issues, being the length of a standard PhD thesis.  

In addition, the total no. of bibliographic references in all three issues should run to at least 200 items.
 

Richard Vallance Twitter KONOSO 1602 & Rita Roberts 548 followers for a total of 2,150!

konoso-1602

rita-roberts-548

Richard Vallance’s Twitter account, KONOSO, has now reached 1602 followers & Rita Roberts’ 548 followers, for a total of 2,150 followers! Amazing, considering how esoteric Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C are. Of course, Rita’s twitter account covers a far greater range of topics on the ancient world, archaeology, early modern historical goodies, and modern stuff too!

The last time we checked in about 4 months ago, we only had about 1,500 followers between us. We are growing like gangbusters!


Table of the distribution of 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A by economic sector & sub-sector:

Following is the Table of the 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A by economic sector & sub-sector. It is clear from this table that the majority of supersyllabograms (12) in Minoan Linear A fall in the olive trees, olives and olive oil sub-sector of the agricultural sector of the Minoan economy, primarily in Haghia Triada, but also in Khania (Chania). The next most common sector is grains (barley & wheat) with 7, the third are vases and pottery and also wine with 5, the fourth is figs with 2 and the fifth are military (men as attendants to the king) and textiles with 1 SSYL each.

table-of-24-supersyllabograms-in-minoan-linear-a-640

The distribution of supersyllabograms in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B by economic sector is of the utmost importance. I shall need to cross-correlate the key economic sector-by-sector distribution of supersyllabograms in both syllabaries to verify whether or not the distribution of SSYLs in the one syllabary (Linear A) and the other (Linear B) is closely aligned or not. The alignment of supersyllabograms in each syllabary relative to the other will determine with greater accuracy which economic sectors are the most and which the least important in each language, Minoan and Mycenaean. This way, we can get a much better idea of how the key economic sectors are distributed, from most to least important, in each of the two societies, Minoan and post-Minoan Mycenaean. It is of the utmost important to understand that all of the supersyllabograms in both of these syllabaries must refer only to major economic terms in each sector and sub-sector. 

I shall explicitly compare the relative economic distribution of each society, the Minoan and Mycenaean in my upcoming article, Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris) is the Mycenaean Linear B “Rosetta Stone” for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada, in Vol. 16 (2016) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448. The Table of 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A by economic sector & sub-sector is to appear in this article.

I have deciphered the following 8 supersyllabograms more or less successfully in Minoan Linear A:

DA = dadumata = grain/wheat measurer? = Linear B sitokowo
KA = kapa = follower or foot soldier, attendant to the king 
KI = kidata = to be accepted for delivery = Linear B dekesato
OR
kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis
kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto
AND
kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket
AND
kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed
NI = nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza. But Mycenaean Linear B shares NI with Minoan Linear A, in spite of the fact that the Mycenaean word for figs is suza.   
PA = pa3ni (amphora for storing grain) + pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an amphora
RA ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) 
SA sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre
TE = tereza = standard unit of usually liquid measurement, sometimes of dry measurement


MAJOR DEVELOPMENT! 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A just discovered, 8 of them deciphered (versus 36 in Mycenaean Linear B):

supersyllabograms-in-minoan-linear-a-ti

In case you were wondering whether or not the Mycenaeans invented supersyllabograms, think again. It was the Minoan Linear A scribes who invented them, and passed them on to their Mycenaean heirs. I never even suspected there were supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A until I started trying to decipher at least some Minoan terms in May of 2016. Lo and behold, to my astonishment, there are 24 of them in Linear A, a substantial number, amounting to 66 % of the number of supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B = 36. It is now obvious that if I can decipher any more than the 8 supersyllabograms I have already translated in Minoan Linear A, I may very well be able to decipher more Minoan Linear A words. It remains to be seen. However, I am greatly encouraged by the fact that the apparent meanings of the 8 supersyllabograms I have already deciphered in Minoan Linear A seem to match almost perfectly the actual translations of the Minoan Linear A words to which they apparently correspond. See my decipherments of 8 Minoan Linear A SSYLS (supersyllabograms) following the table of SSYLs in Linear A immediately below.

If it had not been for the fact that I successfully deciphered  the 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, I would never have stumbled upon the 24 SSYLs in Minoan Linear A, nor would I have been able to cross-correlate these 8 supersyllabograms, DA KA KI NI PA RA SA TE. These 8 supersyllabograms account for 33 % of all the SSYLs in Minoan Linear A. My decipherments of the 8 SSYLs is quite an achievement, considering I, like everyone else in the world, do not know what the Minoan language actually is. I stress again, I have only managed to decipher some of its vocabulary, not the language itself. This is in stark contrast to the 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B which I have been able to decipher with relative ease, in view of the fact that I am intimately familiar with Mycenaean Linear B, having already translated at least 1,000 Linear B tablets. So the fact that I have been able to decipher even 8 of 24 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A is almost a miracle in itself.

You can be sure that my decipherments of these 8 Linear A supersyllabograms will figure largely in my upcoming article in Archaeology and Science, Vol. 16 (2016) (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, “Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery”. You can just imagine how exciting a development this has been for me!

Moreover, this development has allowed me to add yet another Minoan Linear A term to my Glossary of Minoan Linear A, samuku, which almost certainly refers to the harvest(ing) of grains (barley or wheat). See SPECIAL NOTES at the end of this post.

The Table of 24 Minoan Linear A supersyllabograms From Haghia Triada (HT) & Khania (KH):
 
A	HT2	olive oil HT39 vase (v)
DA	HT133 (g)
DI *	HT12	olive oil (qatidate) HT14 (oo) HT28 HT50 HT90 HT121 HT129
E *	HT2	olive oil HT21 HT34 (g) (+ sumuku huge nos.) HT50 HT58 (oo)
KA *	HT28 	man (m) HT88 HT97 HT100
KE	HT26	(vase)
KI *	HT8	olive oil HT18 HT28 HT44 HT50 HT91 HT101 HT125 HT129 HT140
KU	HT32	cloth (c) HT61 (g) HT128 X4!
MI *	HT28 (oo) HT50 HT90 HT91 HT100 HT101 HT116 X2 b HT125 HT137
NE *	HT23 (oo) HT32 HT100
NI	appears on several Linear A tablets all by itself, and invariably means figs. It is the only supersyllabogram shared with Mycenaean Linear B, which apparently simply inherited it lock, stock and barrel from Minoan Linear A.
QE *	HT18 grains (g) HT28 HT36 HT99 HT101 HT121 (oo)
PA *	HT43 (g) HT93 X3! HT102 X2 HT120 X2 HT125 HT128 KT27
RA	HT44 (oo)  KH91 (v)
RI	HT23 (oo) HT35 HT60 HT110 (v) KH82 (oo)
RU *	KH12 (v) KH63 KH84 KH85 KH91
SA	HT27 (w) (g) HT131 (w)
SI	HT27 (w)
TA *	HT30 (oo) HT35 KH19 KH39 KH55 KH61 KH85
TE	HT3	figs HT9 wine HT13 (w) (kaudeta) HT18 HT19 HT21 HT40 HT44 (g) HT51 (f) HT62 (w) HT67 (f) HT70 (f) HT96 HT133 (g)
TU *	HT23 (oo) HT28 HT50 HT101
U *	HT2 	olive oil HT21 HT28 HT40 HT44 HT58 HT91 HT96 HT100 HT101 HT125 HT140 X3
WA	HT27 (w)
WI	KH5 (w = vinegar)

* All of the following supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with olive oil: DI E KI MI NE TA TU U

* All of the following supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with grain: DA QE (except for HT121) PA

* All of the following supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with wine: SA SI WA WI

* The supersyllabograms KE & RU in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with vases and pottery.

* The supersyllabogram KA in Minoan Linear A deals exclusively with men.

Supersyllabograms I have deciphered in Minoan Linear A:

I have already more or less successfully deciphered the following 8 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A:

DA = dadumata = grain/wheat measurer? = Linear B sitokowo
KA = kapa = follower or foot soldier, attendant to the king 
KI = kidata = to be accepted for delivery = Linear B dekesato
OR
kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis
kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto
AND
kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket
AND
kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed
NI = nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza. But Mycenaean Linear B shares NI with Minoan Linear A, in spite of the fact that the Mycenaean word for figs is suza.   
PA = pa3ni (amphora for storing grain) + pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an amphora
RA ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) 
SA sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre
TE = tereza = standard unit of usually liquid measurement, sometimes of dry measurement

All of my decipherments of supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A further substantiate my decipherments of the Minoan Linear A terms to which they correspond (as seen above).

Here is Table 8 of the 36 Supersyllabograms I have deciphered in Mycenaean Linear B: 

table-8-supersyllabograms-in-linear-b

The meanings of the supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B do NOT correspond in any way with those in Minoan Linear A. This table appears in my soon to be published article, “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B” in Vol. 15 (2015) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448. 

SPECIAL NOTES:

[1] The SSYL KI for olive oil has something to do with sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre OR kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis + kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto OR kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket OR kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed. 

[2] Although I have been unable to decipher the supersyllabogram E for olives, it has facilitated my translation of yet another Minoan Linear A word,  samuku, which appears in such huge numbers (245 + 100) on Minoan Linear A tablet HT 34, dealing specifically with grains (barley or wheat) that is almost certainly means the “harvest” of a total of 345 large units of grains, corresponding to something like our modern bushels.   
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